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Tough Mudders! TODAY anchors plunge in ice water, crawl through muck

May 30, 2013 at 11:42 AM ET


Cuts, bruises, frozen skin, a faceplant or three — the TODAY anchors proved they are a group of Tough Mudders on Thursday.

Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales, Al Roker and Willie Geist embarked on a Tough Mudder obstacle course on Rockefeller Plaza.


Willie, Savannah, Al and Matt savor the exhilaration that only true Tough Mudders can feel.
TODAY
Willie, Savannah, Al and Matt savor the exhilaration that only true Tough Mudders can feel.

Tough Mudder is an endurance event featuring military-type obstacles over a course that is usually 10 to 12 miles long. The events are untimed, and teamwork is encouraged as competitors deal with obstacles that involve fire, freezing water, and electric shocks. Founded in 2010 by Brits Will Dean and Guy Livingstone, Tough Mudder now has 53 events internationally. Earlier this month, the organization reached one million registrations.

With Kathie Lee and Hoda cheering and a roaring crowd behind them, the anchors took to the competition to earn the coveted orange Tough Mudder headbands at the finish.

Kathie Lee and Hoda offer their moral support for Willie and Savannah as they attempt to conquer Everest. Kathie Lee also offered helpful advice like "avoid the wet part."
TODAY
Kathie Lee and Hoda offer their moral support for Willie and Savannah as they attempt to conquer Everest. Kathie Lee also offered helpful advice like "avoid the wet part."

The course included a freezing ice bath, a mud crawl under barbed wire, tire-pulling and the big finish, an obstacle known as Everest. A 12-foot-high quarter-pipe covered in grease, water and mud, its evil intention is to send competitors, most notably Willie Geist, sliding back down in frustration. The sixth time was the charm for Willie, who was finally pulled up by his fellow anchors.

He made it! Willie has his own "Rocky" moment after finally reaching the top on his sixth try at the Everest obstacle.
TODAY
He made it! Willie has his own "Rocky" moment after finally reaching the top on his sixth try at the Everest obstacle.

Almost 60 years to the day after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first to summit Mount Everest, a shoeless Savannah used a rope to complete her personal journey to the top of Tough Mudder's Everest on Thursday. Like Willie, Savannah would not take no for an answer, shaking off a face-plant and earning her headband.

Savannah decided to conquer Everest the old-fashioned way, using a rope.
TODAY
Savannah decided to conquer Everest the old-fashioned way, using a rope.

Savannah and Willie followed in the greasy footsteps left by Natalie and Matt, who scampered up the quarter-pipe like seasoned pros, and Al, who made it up thanks to the helping hands of his teammates.

Here is the bruise-by-bruise recap of their journey to becoming Tough Mudders.

The TODAY anchors back in happier, non-mud-spattered days, shortly before they began their quest.
TODAY
The TODAY anchors back in happier, non-mud-spattered days, shortly before they began their quest.


The Tough Mudder promises "the worst ice cream headache you've ever had" after plunging into its ice bath obstacle. Willie is living proof of that here. It also happened to be 91 degrees outside while this was happening.
TODAY
Tough Mudder promises "the worst ice cream headache you've ever had" after plunging into its ice bath.
Tough Mudder is all about teamwork, especially when carrying logs, as Al and Savannah demonstrate.
TODAY
Tough Mudder is all about teamwork, especially when carrying logs, as Al and Savannah demonstrate.


Willie and Natalie are having a great time. Mainly because they haven't reached the Everest obstacle yet.
TODAY
Willie and Natalie are having a great time. Mainly because they haven't reached the Everest obstacle yet.


It wouldn't be Tough Mudder without, you know, mud. Savannah and Matt ruin their outfits with this barbed wire obstacle.
TODAY
It wouldn't be Tough Mudder without, you know, mud. Savannah and Matt ruin their outfits with this barbed wire obstacle.
Natalie made a mockery of the obstacle known as Everest by making it to the top on her first try.
TODAY
Natalie made a mockery of the obstacle known as Everest by making it to the top on her first try.


If you're looking for Matt, he is smiling at the top of Everest. And it only took one try to get there.
TODAY
If you're looking for Matt, he is smiling at the top of Everest. And it only took one try to get there.
Al gets a little help from a friend halfway up Everest, and he may be pointing to a weather map with his left arm for a few days.
TODAY
Al gets a little help from a friend halfway up Everest, and he may be pointing to a weather map with his left arm for a few days.



It was a team celebration for a job well done and cuts and bruises well-earned.
TODAY
It was a team celebration for a job well done and cuts and bruises well-earned.
So close yet so far for Willie on another doomed attempt. Keep pulling, and I'll just get this part up the...Gah!
TODAY
So close yet so far for Willie on another doomed attempt. Keep pulling, and I'll just get this part up the...Gah!


Watching all the action, TODAY fans laughed, they cried, they applauded, and they made plans to form their own Tough Mudder teams:


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